Defence counsel asks for acquittal of father accused of drowning daughter
WINDHOEK - The defence counsel of an NDF soldier who is accused of murdering his biological daughter by drowning her in the Goreangab Dam in February 2017 asked Windhoek High Court Acting Judge Orben Sibeya to find his client not guilty and acquit him on all charges yesterday.
The accused, Gabriel Tulinana David, is charged with the murder of five-year-old Cornelia David by drowning her to spite his former girlfriend and mother of his child.
He is also facing a charge of assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm, theft and malicious damage to property.
According to the charge sheet, David fetched the child from her mother on Sunday, February 19, 2017 with the aim of taking her shopping.
He was supposed to bring the child back the same day, but he did not return her and instead murdered her by throwing her into the Goreangab Dam causing her to drown.
Before that he allegedly stole two cellphones with their SIM cards from the mother of the deceased, Kornelia Thomas during December 2016 and also in December 2016 stole another cellphone and SIM card from Thomas and intentionally damaged it by throwing it on the ground and destroying the SIM card by chewing it.
On January 26, 2017 David allegedly assaulted Thomas by beating her with fists on her neck, face and mouth and by hitting her with his forehead and kicking her on her arm.
Mbanga Siyomunji who is representing David on instructions of legal aid told the court that the version of David could be reasonably possibly true and he is entitled to doubt.
His version is that that on that fateful day he fetched his daughter from her mother in order to do some shopping for her.
On their way back they had to cross the dam along a pipe that stretched over the dam which had some water in it.
As he had plastic bags with shopping in his hand, he told the child to wait for him about five metress from the edge of the water and took the bags across.
When he returned to fetch the girl she was nowhere to be seen, David said, and continued that he then started to search for the child frantically.
However, he said, this was in vain as he could not find her and he then went to report to the mother of the child that she was missing.
According to Siyomunji, if there is a glimmer of doubt in the court’s mind about the truth of the accused person’s version he is entitled to a discharge as the state must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
He further said that David was consistent during the trial and took the court into his confidence.
With regard to the other charges, Siyomunji said that the state failed to prove those charges as well and his client is likewise entitled to an acquittal.
State Advocate Cliff Lutibezi asked the judge to convict David of murder with direct intent read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act.
According to him, the state indeed proved that David murdered his own child just to get at the mother for refusing to continue the relationship.
This, he said, was borne out by the text messages he sent to the woman in which he accused her of being the reason her child is dead.
With regard to the other charges, Lutibezi said the witnesses for the state were all credible and reliable and corroborated each other.
He asked for a conviction on all charges.
Acting Judge Sibeya reserved his judgement to September 30 at 10h00 and David remains in custody at the Windhoek Correctional Facility’s section for trial-awaiting inmates.
2019-09-12 07:46:18 11 days ago